For half of my life I lived in fear. Fear of failure, fear of people, fear of relationships, fear of my demons, fear of money, fear of not being good enough or of what I might become. The fear became so overwhelming that I needed an escape. My escape was alcohol. By my early 20s I was a full blown alcoholic, drinking every day as much as I could, at home, work, social engagements, etc. I lost all hope when the fear of living an alcoholic life or living sober petrified me daily. In the midst of this desperation, over 34 years ago, I hit my knees and begged God to remove the obsession to drink. Since that day I have not had a drink. For many years after that night I believed in the power of God but really had no idea how to have a personal relationship with Him or make use of Him in my life.
In 2004 a friend, who knew the story of my recovery and personal struggles, suggested I check out Crossroads (she is married to my wife’s ex-husband… long story!). After much reluctance, while riding my motorcycle one Sunday morning, I ended up at Crossroads Oakley. As one might imagine, fear was raging inside of me when I stepped into the Atrium, but lo and behold a guy walks up to me and starts talking motorcycle stuff (must have been my leathers that gave it away). Once the service began, I realized Pastor Brian Tome was the guy who greeted me. Needless to say, God showed up that morning and washed away my fears of being at “church” and made it abundantly clear there was something missing in my life – a personal relationship with Jesus. Ever since that Sunday morning, God has been moving in my life. I follow His path where He leads me knowing that God has me in His grip and I do not need to walk in fear any longer.
A more recent challenge of my faith has happened over the last few years when both my wife and I were diagnosed with cancer. I had no fear with my own cancer. I knew my life had been abundantly blessed, especially since no one expected me to live past the age of 30. If God called me home, I was ready. It was different with my wife, Kathy. I tried to put on the face of “no fear,” but the night before her surgery I found myself literally crying out to God afraid for my wife, my partner. It was then that God spoke to me and clearly let me know that He was the same God that had comforted me through my fears my whole life and that there was no reason to doubt that He would do the same thing for my wife. Kathy’s recovery and my own have proven this to be true. It has been a journey, but we are both cancer-free due to God’s healing hand. Today there is no place for fear in my life. A friend of mine says that God has a plan for each and every one of us and it is none of our business. So, I have leaned into the truth of the scripture in Isaiah 41:13 that says “I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear. I will help you.” Today I can now accept, without fear, that I am worthy and that He is a good, good father whose hand I continue to hold onto.__ -David O.__